4 Money-making Ideas for Your Excavator

Start the new year on the right foot by prioritizing equipment use that will benefit your work and bottom line.

Mini excavators are ideal for clearing, grading and applying fill material to prep pathways with minimal disruption.
Mini excavators are ideal for clearing, grading and applying fill material to prep pathways with minimal disruption.

Your excavator offers versatility far beyond digging jobs. That’s why, as you begin evaluating your business goals and operations for the new year, it’s a good idea to consider all the opportunities that this machine can help you tackle. If you’re looking for untapped streams of profit in 2024, consider the following applications to expand the utilization of your compact excavator:  

1. Hardscaping/landscaping 

Creating an outdoor environment or building an elaborate hardscape?  Compact excavators with a three-tine grapple paired with a hydraulic clamp provide the grasp and precision you need to load, unload and sort material, or move vegetation. Combined with an attachment clamp kit and a three-tine grapple, your excavator is also the perfect solution to handle landscape boulders, timbers or other bulky materials in the construction of waterfalls and ponds.

Compact excavators are ideal for loading and unloading trucks with jobsite debris, base materials, decorative rocks, and retaining wall blocks – all things you will likely encounter when it comes to hardscaping and landscaping.

2. Park and Rec Construction

The same machines and attachments you use to perform construction tasks for residential or commercial properties are also ideal for creating parks and recreational facilities. Clearing areas for new development is an opportunity to generate additional income with your compact excavator. Buckets and grapples assist with site prep, cleaning and clearing land and building campsites. Clamps can help move broken concrete, brush, logs, tree stumps, boulders and other odd-shaped objects.

Compact excavators also provide grading capabilities. Grading blades assist with rough or finish grading, backfilling and leveling in boat ramp and beach construction and reclamation, while grading buckets and tilt accessories can complement your efforts with their ability to cut swales and shape contours. Augers replace manual digging of holes and perform the work much faster.

Additionally, compact excavators are an excellent tool for clearing projects in hard-to-reach spaces.

3. Trail Development and Demolition

Constructing and maintaining walking/biking trail systems and golf cart paths is tough to do with most machines, but it’s made easier with a compact excavator equipped with a trenching bucket and grading blade.

Mini excavators are ideal for clearing, grading and applying fill material to prep pathways with minimal disruption. They provide the precision to chisel and sculpt sloped land and the versatility to cut, grade and compact fill material. With a ripper attachment, these machines can penetrate and scarify frost or hard-packed ground. Flail mowers paired with compact excavators are an ideal solution for maintaining areas along finished trails.

Excavators equipped with a plate compactor are ideal for ground compaction along trails and other base material preparation work. They reduce the need for manual compaction and deliver more compaction force for better jobsite results.

Compact excavators can often complete small-scale demolition jobs with ease. Utilizing a clamp or grapple on an excavator can reduce structures into manageable piles. When an operator is done breaking the material, the clamp-grapple combination makes it easy to load debris into a truck or roll-off container for processing.

4. Retaining Wall Construction and Maintenance

Contractors rely on mini excavators to groom land prior to constructing stone retaining walls on commercial and municipal projects. On a smaller scale, homeowners are enhancing their properties with stone retaining walls. Building these walls and placing the stones is much easier with a compact excavator. Mini excavators can also be utilized to help reshape levee walls and shelves using a grading bucket and an extendable arm (available on some compact excavators). Equipped with a tilt accessory, mini excavators also are the ideal tool for ground sloping.

No matter the tasks you take on with your excavator, one thing will always be true: effective equipment planning will help keep operations running efficiently and smoothly. Thanks to an assortment of excavator attachments, you can use your machine for most anything as you prepare for the toughest construction and maintenance jobs. For example, the ripper can be used for hardened terrain and a flail mower can be used for maintaining hard to reach vegetation. Combining a bucket with swing accessories allows you to add significant range of motion for more versatility on a job site. The wrist-like action moves the excavator bucket to either side – improving productivity by tilting the bucket instead of having to repeatedly reposition the entire machine – to cut swales, shape contours and create slopes.

Compact excavators have proven themselves the go-to machine for traditional digging tasks. However, their compact size, attachment versatility and performance have greatly expanded their jobsite utilization – and revenue streams. Determining how you can best take advantage of your excavator’s capabilities will help expand your service offerings and increase your profitability.